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$1 Trillion Market Cap

|Includes: Apple Inc. (AAPL)
Summary

Apple maybe the first company to pass the $1 trillion market cap.

Apple supplier Foxconn admitted to using illegal intern labor to assemble the iPhone X.

iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 are almost indistinguishable.

iOS updates create more bugs.

Apple’s stock has reached an all-time high as shares of (NASDAQ: AAPL) reached above $160 per share, specifically $175.18 per share today. The increase in Apple’s stock price placed the market cap at 898.66B. These changes give analysts reason to believe that Apple will be the first company to pass the $1 trillion market cap. Many agree that the increase in stock price was a result from the iPhone 8/ iPhone X launch in September, the 12 inch MacBook launch in June, macOS High Sierra, Apple Watch Series 3 with LTE and the Apple TV 4K. We can all agree, 2017 has been prolific for Apple. What is questioned, however, is not Apple’s ability to set the record; if anything it is almost certain they will exceed the trillion market cap in times to come. The aspect of the company questioned is the ethical value. From soliciting labor from interns illegally in China, to minor changes in upgrades but high prices and to coerced upgrades, people need to reevaluate their patriotism for Apple.

Illegal Intern Scandal

The Apple supplier Foxconn admitted to using illegal intern labor to assemble the iPhone X. The Chinese labor law dictates that students cannot work more than 11 hours but Apple supplier Foxconn breach the law to reduce the shortage upon the launch. A sum total of 3,000 students ranging in ages 17-19 interned in Foxconn due to the educational requirements. According to Financial Times, when required to work hours that exceeded the norm, interns informed newspapers. Foxconn’s response to BBC news was the interns sum up a very small percentage of the company and they are taking immediate action to ensure that no interns were carrying out any overtime work (Cook 2017). In 2010 Foxconn had faced its own issues when a series of employees died in suicides after working long hours in the factory. This appalling event led to the company creating suicide nets to prevent future deaths.

The article “Apple, Samsung and Sony Face Child Labor Claims” addressing how Apple, Samsung and Sony failed to do basic checks to ensure minerals used in their products are not mined by children in the Democratic Republic of the Congo ( Wakefield 2017). In the article, Mark Dummett, business and human rights researcher at Amnesty, said, "Companies whose global profits total $125bn (£86.7bn) cannot credibly claim that they are unable to check where key minerals in their productions come from." On another note, when Apple CEO Tim Cook was asked about the potential of delays to the iPhone X in an interview with BuzzFeed, he responded, "We'll see what happens, but we'll be working as hard as possible to make as many as possible." Apple is a world-renowned tech company that is about to be they first company to reach $1 trillion market cap and yet interns are required to work hours that breach labor laws. Apple is more focused on the profits than the very small percentage of intern they hire.

Whats New?

The iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 are almost indistinguishable. The iPhone 8 design differs from the 7 in weight, being 7% heavier. This change is a result of the glass instead of the usual aluminum back which ensures the wireless charging. Both devices retained the Touch ID leaving the iPhone X with facial ID recognition. Some improvement includes a 25% boost in volume on the iPhone 8, overall similar improvement on display on the iPhone 7 and 8(Kelly 2017). iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X - Apple A11 ‘Bionic’ chipset: Six Core CPU, Six Core GPU, M11 motion coprocessor, 3GB RAM (iPhone X, iPhone 8 Plus), 2GB RAM (iPhone 8) (Kelly 2017). In other words, the speed of the iPhone 8 and X are unmatched as are the cameras.

            Distinguishing differences between iPhone 7, 8 and X include the portable charger. The gadget is not sold with the $999 iPhone X but is to be purchased standalone for $75. The iPhone 8 64GB is valued at $699, 256GB at $849, the iPhone 8 plus 256GB at $949, iPhone 8 64GB at $799. Meanwhile, the iPhone 7 32GB costs $549, and 128GB costs $649, iPhone 7 plus 32GB costs $669, iPhone 7 128GB costs $769. Upon the launch of the iPhone X, the 7 price was reduced by $100. However, the dilemma rises when the difference between iPhone 8 64GB and iPhone 7 32GB is $50. The bottom line is, there are key changes in the iPhone, some drastic others not, but the ultimate decision of which is the better option is left to the customers. Save $50 and get iPhone 7 or just the get iPhone 8.

iOS upgrades

Apple released iOS 11.1.2, its seventh update to the iOS 11 operating system. iOS 11.1.2 came one week after iOS 11.1.1. Its purpose to fix bugs. Soon after, the iOS updated to 11.1.2 to fix another bizarre problem (Kelly 2017). Apple’s tactics are simple; first a new iPhone launches then iOS notified all compatible devices automatically to download and install the update. After the continuous pop-ups, you succumb and update your old device but notice glitches. That is because the updates are not meant for the old devices but the new one that just launched. In “iOS glitch: Apple working on Fix for iPhone Autocorrect Bug” by Joanna Stern, one glitch noticed was how the device autocorrects a stand-alone letter “i” to an! or A and an obscure symbol that often shows up as [?]. Other glitches noticed by consumers is reduced speed or apps abruptly closing. On their own, the glitches and the continuous popups about updates are minuscule but together they are Apple, subtly forcing consumers to upgrade their iPhone to stop the glitches.

Apple’s stock price is $160 per share, specifically $175.18 per share today. The increase in Apple’s stock price placed the market cap at 898.66B almost the $1 trillion. In terms of capital, there is nowhere else to be if your Apple but at some point the company should start considering its ethical values.